Baidu Quantum Computing Head Says It’s Key To AI Development

  • Chinese research giant Baidu is investing in quantum computing to accelerate research and AI applications.
  • Baidu’s Quantum Chief said technology will “play an important role” in the future of AI.
  • Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are competing in the premier quantum computing market.

Runyao Duan, director of the Chinese research giant’s quantum computing research institute, said that a relatively new field of quantum computing “will play an important role” in Baidu’s future.

waiting for U.S. tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Google are dedicating resources to their own quantum computing efforts, Baidu, e-commerce giant Alibaba, tech conglomerate Tencent and a few small start-ups represent China’s big bets on emerging areas.

Quantum computers are expected to be exponentially more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers, allowing them to handle some of the most complex issues, from logistics to drug discovery to finance. to augment.

As part of this, Baidu launched its quantum computing efforts in 2018 with a focus on the use of AI. If Baidu could nail quantum computing, Duan told Insider it could make the company’s core business more powerful and efficient.

“One of the biggest services we offer is search,” Duan told Insider. “It’s a very time consuming task. Fortunately, quantum computers can actually speed up this task.

While companies like IBM and Google have invested in building quantum hardware and custom quantum chips, Baidu is focusing more on the software side of the equation. It aims to enable developers to program quantum computers using popular languages ​​such as Python, and aims to help developers build AI applications. Updated the PaddlePaddle source project to add quantum software creation tools.

“We want to make this quantum force available to ordinary people and ordinary people without knowing too much about quantum mechanics,” said Duane.

Especially in the case of AI, Duan praises the potential of Quantum to accelerate development. “Teaching” how to classify data in AI systems is a daunting task for modern processors, but it is also the most fundamental aspect of machine learning. Quantum computing has the potential to be a game changer.

“Quantum computing has this huge advantage,” says Duan. “You can speed up this kind of task considerably. “

The Chinese government has made several strategic investments in quantum computing, including the National Technical Commission, which supports the standardization and commercialization of quantum computing. 10 billion dollars of investment In the construction of the Quantum Computing Research Center.

Alibaba has partnered for this In collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Quantum Sciences Taizhang quantum simulator We have launched our own cloud development platform for quantum computing. Chinese tech giant Tencent has also built its own quantum lab. Yet quantum computing is still a very early field, and experts say it is. It takes 5 to 10 years to become mainstream In a significant way.

Charlie Dai, chief analyst at Forrester, told the insider:

Whoever “wins” the mainstream quantum computing competition, Baidu says Baidu wants to make sure its software runs on common hardware.

“We have to make sure we’re doing what we’re good at,” said Duane. “Software, algorithms and quantum platforms are a very viable way of connecting applications. “

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